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Facets 25th anniversary show glitters with dazzling pieces

Facets 25th anniversary show glitters with dazzling pieces

Premium quality precious stones, exceptional designs and unique pieces were the feature at FACETS Gem and Jewellery fair which opened on Friday and ends today at the BMICH. Picture shows some foreign visitors examining some stones. Inset: Beautiful jewellery. Pix by Indika Handuwela

UDA’s cash crunch pushes Rs.10 bln debenture investors in a quandary

Several local and foreign investors who subscribed to the Urban Development Authority’s (UDA) debenture issue five years ago are in a quandary as to whether they would be able to redeem their bonds on maturity although there was a Treasury guarantee due to current cash flow problems of the authority. These bonds issued to fund [...]

NITF evaluates bids to link up with a foreign re-insurer

Sri Lanka’s sole re-insurance agency, the National Insurance Trust Fund (NITF) will soon be linking up with a foreign re-insurer to get appropriate re-insurance protection in the event of a major natural disaster.“The NITF has called for expressions of interest from world renowned re-insurers and the response for it was highly positive”, Manjula de Silva, [...]

CSE urges Govt. to list major SOEs

The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) is urging the government to go public with large state-owned enterprises (SOE)s such as the Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation (SLIC) and state banks, officials said. “We are requesting the government to go public with these state institutions and the pension funds – Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) and Employees’ Trust Fund [...]

Sept. 8 discussion on CIFL repayments

The long-awaited arrest of Deepthi Perera, former chairman of the failed Central Finance and Investment Ltd (CIFL) last month has sparked renewed activity in the search for a durable repayment scheme for 4,000 + depositors. Perera, nabbed at Sri Lanka’s international airport on August 10 with a bogus passport, is to be presented by prison [...]

Pensions Department and CSE target Rs. 60 mln Unit Trusts from pensioners

The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) together with the Department of Pensions is targeting Unit Trusts (UT) worth Rs. 60 million being traded monthly by pensioners, top officials say. This follows an awareness programme by the CSE in association with the department to educate pensioners on personal financial planning. “This is coming under the ‘Divi Aruna’ [...]

5 Point Plan and the 10 Point Agreement

5 Point Plan and the 10 Point Agreement

The global setting reflects the need to consider the international market implications of domestic development policy. We tried to ignore these in the pre 1977 period and what happened to domestic production, consumption, income growth, distribution, employment and balance of payments is well known and recorded. Economic growth Economists today refer to development as a [...]

More stimulating parliamentary debates – Comment

When Chandrika Kumaratunga was Western Province Chief Minister, she requested the CISIR for details of loads of research it has undertaken. She didn’t get a proper reply for many weeks and related this incident at an event subsequently when as President she was presiding over awards being presented to Sri Lankan inventors. The message was [...]

Amalgamation of DFCC Bank PLC and DFCC Vardhana Bank PLC approved by shareholders

The amalgamation of DFCC Bank PLC (DFCC) and DFCC Vardhana Bank PLC (DVB) was unanimously approved by the shareholders of the two companies, by way of special resolutions at the Extraordinary General Meetings held on 28th August in Colombo. The banks have received the letter of provisional approval from the Central Bank to proceed with [...]

Motor trade stresses need to control vehicle population

Sri Lankan motor traders warned that traffic congestion in Colombo and some of the other cities including Kandy will become uncontrollable if the new government does not introduce concrete policies on alternate transportation and curb rising vehicle numbers. Chairman of Ceylon Motor Traders Association (CMTA) Gihan Pilapitiya revealed that the country’s vehicle penetration measured in [...]

Surge in SL motor vehicle imports raises concerns, erodes into foreign reserves

The rapid increase in the imports of consumer durables including motor vehicles in recent months driven by credit available at low interest rates, among other things, has raised some concerns, the banking regulator said this week. Gross official reserves, which stood at US$7.5 billion at end June, are also estimated to have decreased to $6.8 [...]

Sri Lankan companies to invest in Pakistan’s energy, construction and resort development sectors

Sri Lankan companies to invest in Pakistan’s energy, construction and resort development sectors

Pakistan and Sri Lanka are important partners not only in promoting bilateral trade and economic interactions but also enhancing regional economic integration through SAARC and SAFTA, Pakistan High Commissioner in Sri Lanka Maj. Gen. (Rtd) Syed Shakeel Hssain has said. Addressing the Sri Lanka-Pakistan Trade and Investment Forum organised by the Federation of Chamber of [...]

Seylan Towers installs smart energy saving system through PEP

Perth Eco Power (PEP), a pioneer in the energy conservation services field, recently completed installing advanced energy management systems in Seylan Bank’s Head Office, the Seylan Towers. These systems bearing energy-efficient chillers are slated to reduce Seylan Towers’ monthly energy bill by 15 per cent, according to Dammica Wickramaratne, Chairman PEP. He said that over [...]

LankaClear records 12 % revenue growth in FY 2014/15

The LankaPay national payment network operator, LankaClear (Private) Ltd, crossed the Rs.500 million mark to record a revenue of Rs.518 million FY2014/15, up 12 per cent compared to the previous year, a media release issued by the company stated. This was highlighted at the recently concluded AGM held last week at Kingsbury Hotel, Colombo.This was [...]

CAA organises specialist expert group to plan, manage Sri Lanka’s airspace

The Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka (CAA) has identified the need for the formation of an expert group representing all key state organisations involved in local air navigation activities. The purpose of the new group is for planning, management and coordination of Sri Lanka airspace and the Colombo Flight Information Region under a National Air [...]

Asia’s Greenest Apparel Factory recognised as the World’s Best Garment Maker

Asia’s FIRSTCarbonNeutral® Apparel Manufacturer, and the country’s iconic green factory – the Hirdaramani Group’s Mihila, was recently recognised as Garment Maker of the Year at the World Textile Awards.  “Being recognised as the Garment Maker of the year is a pinnacle of our many recent achievements,” Chamara De Silva – General Manger of the Mihila [...]

Demand for IELTS exam to enter foreign countries is increasing , says British Council Country Director

IELTS, considered the world’s most popular English language tests, has been well established in Sri Lanka during the past 26 years since its inception. The demand for this exam is increasing while visas for countries like UK, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand require the IELTS exam (pass) as a must before entering the country [...]

Sri Lankan architects win Silver award in prestigious international sustainable development competition

Sri Lankan architects win Silver award in prestigious international sustainable development competition

Sri Lanka secured world attention last week by winning a Silver award at an international competition in sustainable design and construction training and community project. The prestigious Global Lafarge Holcim Silver award 2014 was won by Architects Milinda Pathiraja and Ganga Ratnayake for designing the library at the Sri Lanka army camp at Ambepussa for retired [...]

World Bank “Development” Project for Kandy – Issues and Challenges

We refer to the article titled “Mega “Kandy City Urban Upgrading Project” on track to ease congestion” published in the Business Times, August 30, 2015 edition. A Colombo-based company, Engineering Consultants (Pvt) Ltd (ECL) that claims to be implementing the “Kandy City Urban Upgrading Project” with the assistance of Kieos Development Consulting of Italy may [...]

SL needs new paradigm of economic policy-making unconnected to short-term political expedience

Sri Lankans are now aspirational and impatient. Governments will be judged by their capacity to deliver improving living standards, says the Pathfinder Foundation in its latest “Pathfinder Economic Flash”. Addressed to the President and the Prime Minister, the report said, “The old stop-go policies of deceiving people with hand-outs and then imposing burdens on them are [...]

Former Government pensioners educated on the benefits of personal financial planning

Former Government pensioners educated on the benefits of personal financial planning

The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) together with the Department of Pensions recently launched a programme in association with the Sri Lanka Pensions Department to educate pensioners on personal financial planning.  The first programme under this initiative was held on August 27 at the Post Graduate Institute of Management. The workshop featured an in-depth presentation on [...]

Low life insurance penetration in Sri Lanka triggers joint mega awareness campaign by local insurance companies

Insurance companies are striving hard to ensure a large segment of Sri Lanka’s population is covered by life insurance, particularly so today when the country’s ageing segment is growing. In this context, the Insurance Association of Sri Lanka (IASL) declared September as a month of ‘Life Insurance’ and kicked off the campaign on Tuesday at the [...]

IBSL exemption of SLIC in separating life and general units irks industry

The Insurance Association of Sri Lanka (IASL) has recently written to the Insurance Board of Sri Lanka (IBSL) raising concerns on providing exemptions to Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation (SLIC) from being segregated (broken up) while others are compelled to do so, IASL officials said. The IASL letter has been referred by the insurance regulator to [...]

Local SME sector needs to grow fast for economy to climb the ladder

Small and medium scale enterprises in the country have to pick up fast if the country’s economy is to grow, according to Arjuna Herath, President of the Chartered Accountants Institute of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka). He made this comment at a media briefing on Tuesday at the Hilton Residence in Colombo to launch the [...]

Sunshine Holdings continues community programmes in health and education

Companies of the Sunshine Holdings group have been involved in several community level projects, that the group says “made a lasting positive impact on the lives of many individuals in the past financial year”. The group’s healthcare arm, Sunshine Healthcare, aligning with the ‘Vision 2020 Sri Lanka national programme for the prevention of avoidable blindness,’ [...]

Training on stock market issues for FCID

Officials of the Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID) were due to have followed a comprehensive training on the stock markes by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) yesterday (Saturday). This came on the back of much needed expertise on capital market fraud by the FCID. The training was on the role of the SEC, what [...]

BOC grants its 1000th Siri Medura Loan

Bank of Ceylon (BOC) has disbursed the 1000th loan facility of its newly launched housing loan product- “BOC Siri Medura”, the bank said this week. This ‘best in class’ housing loan offering – which is quickly processed and approved – is aimed at providing a superior customer experience while obtaining housing loans, it said in a [...]

LAUGFS bullish on renewable energy sector

LAUGFS Holdings is keen to expand its renewable energy sector and through subsidiary, LAUGFS Power, has invested some Rs.6 billion to acquire and construct projects in this sector during the past two years, officials said. “We acquired two mini hydros generating 2.75 Mega Watt (MW) this year. These are situated in Ginigathhena in Nuwara Eliya [...]

Sri Lanka to use pre-stressed spun concrete poles in rural electrification

A Sri Lankan firm in collaboration with a Malaysian company will soon embark on a pre-stressed spun concrete pole project to replace old wooden poles being used as power line support in rural areas, Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) sources said. Senaka Builders (Pvt) Ltd, a subsidiary of Senaka Group, has linked up with ZENN HRB [...]

Entrepreneurial Makeup

Shehan explains the project and clearly says that it needs to be broken into manageable tasks that have to be completed in stages. Managing a team of 21 individuals, the last thing he wants to do is to micro-manage. However, he finds himself wondering why his very capable and hardworking team is still unable to [...]

SL depositors of failed financial companies fight back urging new government authorities to deliver

SL depositors of failed financial companies fight back urging new government authorities to deliver

Though promises have been made by the authorities at various times assuring depositors in failed finance companies that they would be settled speedily, nothing concrete has happened even after six years of the first promise. Depositors of these failed units, in some instances, have organised themselves as a group to canvass their case. In the [...]

New apex standards agency for exports a priority, says SLSI

Sri Lanka today needs an agency to ensure the country’s exports could be certified to guarantee the ease of doing trade with other countries in keeping up with the standards required by each of them, a top state official said. Sri Lanka Standards Institution Director General Dr. L. N. Senaweera told the Business Times on [...]

SLFEB vows stern action against bogus education institutes promising overseas work and study

Bogus education institutes sending students overseas for higher studies promising work and study are to be cracked down by the Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Bureau (SLFEB), officials said. Seven education consultant agencies have been identified for arranging such illegal student programmes without having proper registration with the bureau and stern legal action would be taken against [...]

BOI launches ‘Day Care Centre’ and pre-school at Katunayake Export Processing Zone to help workers

A Day Care Centre and pre-school was launched last week for the children of workers employed at the factories in the Katunayake Export Processing Zone (KEPZ). This project was initiated by the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka (BOI) along with the Manufacturer’s Association of the KEPZ. “This centre is very significant as it provides [...]

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